With proper care and cleaning, a down comforter can last for years or even decades. Below are tips on how to keep your comforter in tip-top shape and sleep comfortably through the winter months.
1. Let it fluff. Manufacturers pack comforters tightly to make them easier to ship and sit on store shelves. When you remove your comforter from the packaging, set it flat on your bed outside of direct sunlight for roughly 12 hours. This gives it time to achieve its original fluffiness and provide you with maximum comfort through the night.
2. Shake it out. Shake your comforter once every few months to even out the down and help it refluff. If it’s been a while since the last shake, a 10-15 minute fluff in the dryer (heat off) can rejuvenate your comforter’s fluff. On a cool day with good air quality and low allergen content, you can shake your comforter outside for a fresh scent.
3. Keep it dry. Moisture ruins down’s insulating properties. If you live in a humid region, keep the relative humidity low indoors. Doing so will help you get the most out of your down and sleep more comfortably through the night.
4. Store it properly. During warmer months, you may not need to use your down comforter. Many people think it’s okay to stuff their comforter in a plastic bag and store it in the closet until the winter. However, this traps moisture, which encourages mold and mildew growth. Instead, use a large storage bag made of breathable material.
5. Wash it according to the instructions on the label. Some down comforters can be washed, others must be dry cleaned. If the label states that your comforter can be washed, hand washing or tumble washing are the best options. Use warm water and light detergent on the delicate or gentle cycle. Avoid bleach or fabric softener at all costs. Make sure all detergent is removed before drying; this may take two or three rinse cycles.
6. Dry it properly. While line drying may seem like a good idea, it can promote mildew, especially on humid days. Tumble-drying on lowest heat in a large-capacity dryer is usually a better option. Adding tennis balls can help minimize clumps. Remove the comforter every 45 minutes or so and lightly shake it to help it refluff. The entire drying process can take anywhere between two to five hours.
7. Get it dry cleaned. Even if the tag permits washing, many experts recommend dry cleaning your comforter. If you don’t use a cover, an annual dry cleaning will keep your down comforter clean and fluffed.
8. Use a cover. Placing your comforter in a duvet cover can greatly reduce the amount cleaning and maintenance it needs. The cover protects the down from dust, debris, and sunlight. In a low-humidity environment, you can forego washing your comforter entirely and simply wash the duvet cover per label instructions. Dry cleaning your comforter once every other year should be sufficient if it stays in a cover.
Comforter: Lacrosse Comforter
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